FILE PHOTO: A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco

JOHANNESBURG - South African hosts on the Airbnb platform welcomed nearly 830,000 guests last year,  with the typical host earning R24,633 for renting out their space for an average of 17 nights a year, the company said.

The global hosting platform, which was founded 10 years ago, this week released data showing that there are now 4.85 million listings on Airbnb in more than 191 countries across the world.

In South Africa, the tourism capital of Cape Town  received about 350,000 Airbnb guests from over 150 countries, earning each host about R39,348 over roughly 27 nights.

In the commercial hub of Johannesburg, 60,000 arrivals were recorded from 133 countries,  earning each host about R15,969, while homeowners in the coastal city of Durban had 40,000 guests and each earned about R20,000.

In turn, 551 000 outbound guests in total travelled from South Africa to other destinations.

Since Airbnb was founded, it has opened up destinations to travellers off the typical tourist path and has brought economic benefits to  small businesses and local residents.

“Building off of this work through partnerships, programs and events, Airbnb will expand its efforts to economically empower communities, drive travel to lesser-known places, and support environmentally-friendly travel habits,” the company said in its latest report.

- African News Agency (ANA)